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Age of Sigmar 4th edition confirmed, with a Skaven invasion

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition is officially coming in 2024, with "rebuilt" core rules, a Combat Patrol type mode, and Skaven invading.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition reveal - Games Workshop trailer screenshot showing a Skaven leader screaming

Games Workshop has officially announced Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition is on the way in Summer 2024, including a ground-up redesign of the rules; a new 40k Combat Patrol-style quick play mode called Spearhead; and the long-foretold return of a beloved fan favorite army as antagonist: the devious Skaven.

The news was confirmed in GW’s Warhammer Preview livestream at the Adepticon 2024 convention on Wednesday, with a frankly magnificent CGI cinematic video you can (and should, and indeed must) watch below.

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It follows GW’s established pattern of releasing a new edition for its two first-tier miniature wargames every three years; it launched Age of Sigmar 3rd Edition with the Dominion box set in June 2021, and before that 2nd Edition came out in Summer 2018.

The Age of Sigmar armies chosen to headline the new edition are – of course – the iconic, gleaming Stormcast Eternals (more specifically the newly opened Ruination Chamber) and – most excitingly – a gigantic invasion force of Skaven ratmen, replete with volatile war machines, crackling green magic, and many, many, many skittering rat warriors.

We don’t know much about the Ruination Chamber’s battlefield traits – but GW says they’re “the most grizzled veterans of the Stormcast, heroes of a thousand battles dating back to the Soul Wars”. It’s a double-down on AoS’s ongoing story theme of the magically ‘reforged’ Stormcast struggling with bitterness and existential turmoil due to their involuntary immortality.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition reveal - Games Workshop image showing Ruination Chamber Stormcast

GW had already dropped two dark and ominous teaser videos over the past couple of weeks, which gave us more than enough reasons to suspect the new edition’s title baddies would be the Age of Sigmar Skaven, vicious and paranoid ratmen who lurk beneath the floorboards of reality.

It’s an exciting moment for Skaven fans, who’ve been waiting since the dawn of Age of Sigmar in 2015 for their beloved rodent forces to take center stage in GW’s premier fantasy wargame (even though real rats aren’t like Skaven at all, we’ll have you know).

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The bombastic reveal trailer – and accompanying Warhammer Community article – puts a little more meat on the gnawed bones above, with the broad strokes of the new storyline and hints toward major changes to the Age of Sigmar core rules.

The Great Horned Rat – the chosen deity of the Skaven – has reportedly “struck a deal with Archaon himself, and ascended to his rightful place as a full fifth member of the Chaos pantheon”, according to WarCom.

As a result, the Skaven’s entire subterranean, sub-dimensional lair – a vast, ramshackle rat metropolis called Blight City – has exploded up through the ground in the Realm of Fire, Aqshy, in an event referred to as the “Vermindoom”.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition reveal - Games Workshop image showing the Vermindoom, as Blight City erupts from the ground near Hammerhal Aqshy

A giant swathe of that realm – right on the doorstep of Hammerhal Aqshy, one of the main Cities of Sigmar – has been transformed from inert desert plain into corrupted, magic-infused cityscape overnight, and ceaseless hordes of Skaven are pouring out to besiege everything they can get their little claws on.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition reveal - Games Workshop trailer screenshot showing Skaven shooting Warplock Jezzails

In the trailer, we see battlelines of Clanrats and Stormvermin; weapon teams firing Warplock Jezzail guns upwards into flying Stormcast attackers; mad-eyed rat pilots riding wheeled, clockwork Ratling Guns towards the foe, firing wildly as they roll; and hulking Rat Ogres belching magical flame in all directions from their hand-mounted Warpfire Throwers. It’s going to be glorious.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition reveal - Games Workshop trailer screenshot showing a Rat Ogre firing a warpfire thrower

It’s too early to guess what new models and rules might be in store for the Skaven in fourth edition – though there surely will be some. But Wednesday’s stream does bring more solid news about what 4e is doing with Age of Sigmar as a whole.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th edition reveal - Games Workshop trailer screenshot showing the pilot gunner of a Ratling Gun

GW says the new fourth edition core rules have been “reforged for the first time since the first edition of the game”, placing a premium on “streamlining, accessibility, and modularity – but not at the expense of depth”. Stream presenters described it as rebuilding the game’s rules “from the ground up”.

We’re sensing strong parallels with the “simplified, not simple” language GW used to promote the massive changes it made in Warhammer 40k 10th edition, with references to “the Warhammer Age of Sigmar that you all know and love, with all the friction taken out”.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition reveal - Games Workshop image showing Stormcast Eternals entering Blight City to fight Skaven

Most intriguingly, GW says it’s made targeted changes to Age of Sigmar’s most controversial rules element – the infamous Double Turn, which refers to the fact players can, with one lucky dice roll, play two full turns in a row. Some people love it, many hate it.

GW says this feature has been “fine-tuned into a knife-edge decision with a clever twist to scoring” in 4th edition. What exactly that means, we’ll have to wait to find out.

Warhammer Age of Sigmar 4th Edition reveal - Games Workshop image showing all the AoS Spearhead boxes and their models, with the Spearhead logo

And – in probably the least surprising Age of Sigmar reveal of the night – Games Workshop has announced Spearhead, a new one-hour-long game mode making use of pre-set, simplified army lists and rules tied to the models included in the Spearhead and Vanguard starter box sets for each faction.

While we won’t have exact details of how Spearhead games work until AoS 4th Edition drops in the Summer, we’d lay a rather large bet it will be a direct adaptation of the Warhammer 40k Combat Patrol mode, which is identical in its key features and description.

This isn’t the only news from the Adepticon 2024 Warhammer Preview stream, though, no-no. We’ve also seen new Warhammer 40k Chaos Lords; a brand new Warhammer The Old World Dwarf King, and an upcoming Votann versus Genestealer Cults Kill Team box set.

For more Warhammer Age of Sigmar news, hit that link to see our AoS homepage – or follow Wargamer on Google News.